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A/B Testing Patient Statements and Payment Portals

Courtney Patterson - Friday, March 03, 2017


by: Robbie Curtis 


Patient engagement is increasingly vital to patient wellness, successful operations, and also the bottom line of healthcare organizations. Technology offers us the tools to better interact and communicate with patients.


With high-deductible insurance plans and non-covered services on the rise, new strategies towards improving self-pay collections become increasingly important. While a reliance on self-pay collections may pose new challenges for healthcare organizations, it also introduces new opportunities for increased transparency, engagement, and communication with patients and guarantors.


A/B testing can be used as a low-cost opportunity to tap into your self-pay marketplace, enable efficient communication between you and your patients, and improve the patient experience. A/B testing is a frequently utilized practice in online marketing for commercial products and services. Healthcare organizations can utilize the same methodology to gauge the conversion rate of randomized statement templates and patient payment portals across a population of guarantors.


Through statement generation, randomized rules in a revenue cycle EHR can direct to different statement templates per guarantor. By aggregating a large volume of A/B testing data within an Enterprise Data Warehouse, an informed, low-cost, and data-driven decision could yield significant percentage point increases in annual self-pay collections returns.


Here’s a straightforward guideline toward implementing the A/B testing process:

  • 1) Work with your marketing team to draft two competing statement templates.
  • 2) Set up to perform daily extracts of statement data to an Enterprise Data Warehouse.
  • 3) If using outsourced PDF statements, work with your statement vendor to incorporate the separate statement designs & include an indicator in your statement output.
  • 4) If generating statements from your EHR, use a randomized rule to direct the creation of each statement template per guarantor.
  • 5) Choose a marker of 90 days post self-pay aging date to assess collection results from each statement.
  • 6) After one round of testing, assess the data to determine which statement template generated the higher return.


A/B testing allows for a continuous cycle of improvement that can be repeated over time. It also can empower your marketing and business operations teams to coordinate more effectively toward improving conversion rates in other areas such as your online patient portal.




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